LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - There are hundreds of housing units sitting vacant in Lewiston and most of them are uninhabitable.
Police say that poses a big safety concern.
The obvious solution is to tear them down but many of the buildings still have owners and mortgage companies and razing the structure can get mired in legal paperwork.
In one case, the owner of a now-vacant building passed away and left no relatives to take control of it. The building sat empty for months with all of the owners belongings still inside.
Now the City is paying thousands of dollars to have the junk inside cleaned out and the exterior boarded up. Then they can begin the demolition process.
There are 85 other buildings across the city with similar problems.
In the wake of the recent fires, police are stepping up their efforts to lessen the fire danger. They are boarding up more buildings and putting up 'No Trespassing' signs to give police the authority to arrest people who shouldn't be there.